(DSiWare)

Game Review

Let's Create! Pottery Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Let's not

Let's Create! Pottery may have the least appealing title this side of Let's Perform! Complex Trigonometry and Let's Compose! A Musical About Kobe Bryant's Lunch, but its problems run much deeper than that. Mainly, it’s just not very fun.

The game begins with a title screen that offers several options, but none of them involve starting the game. Instead you tap around the options that are available, and nothing seems to happen. Eventually you click an icon to read an email from the developers; that actually starts the game, though you wouldn't know it ahead of time. The email itself is sweet and they wish us a relaxing time — more on that later — but this initial lack of direction is emblematic of the Let's Create! Pottery experience as a whole.

There's never really any idea of what you need to do. For a game that prides itself on being a relaxing experience, we can let that slide. What's less forgivable is the fact that the game doesn't give you much indication of how to do anything at all. This leads to a lot of blind tapping, sliding, and clicking through irrelevant menus in the hope that some option, somewhere, will make the experience more fun.

The basic idea is that you shape clay into pots, vases and other objects. You do this by using the stylus to change the height and width of your piece, and that's really it. Simplicity is not a bad thing, but even the simplicity here seems to have been sloppily implemented, as the same actions performed with the stylus would sometimes cause the pottery to react, and other times not. This can be frustrating — as opposed to relaxing...ahem... — because you end up using larger and larger gestures just to get the game to recognize them, and then end up making more severe changes to your piece than you had intended.

When you're satisfied with — or bored of — your piece, you can fire it and paint it. Firing it is the most successfully responsive activity in the game, because you don't have to do anything at all. Painting it is another exercise in directionless frustration as you need to buy equipment and colours individually from the shop without necessarily knowing how to use them, or even if you're buying what you'd like to use on your piece in the first place.

You earn money for the shop by completing pottery to the specifications of supplied photographs for clients, or by creating whatever garbage you like and selling it at an auction. The auction proceeds entirely without input from you, and it combines all the excitement of sitting quietly and wishing you had your money back.

The fact that the shop exists at all is something of another problem. Instead of providing the player with a sense of achievement when they get to buy something, it feels much more like a sense of restriction, and that's not a good thing to have in an art game. Imagine a graphic design program that forced you to log a certain number of hours with only the most basic tools before allowing you to unlock and use anything more interesting, and you'll get an idea of why withholding simple brushes and paints isn't much appreciated.

You also may not even realize that you can paint your pieces, as that stage of creation doesn't open up until you purchase a brush. Giving the player basic equipment up front would have helped enormously or, again, at least have provided some sense of direction.

Let's Create! Pottery has good intentions. It wants to provide you with a calm, meditative journey through the magic of hands-on creation. Unfortunately it actually provides a vague, unresponsive slog through the reality of limitation. A more successfully relaxing use of your DSi would be to simply leave it switched off in the first place.

Conclusion

Let's Create! Pottery suffers from unresponsive controls and uninspired presentation but, more importantly, it also suffers from not being very much fun. It's a time-waster alright, but not a very good one. Some more options really would have gone a long way, as the core experience of shaping and painting pots just isn't compelling enough to come back to. We respect what Let's Create! Pottery tried to do, but there's a difference between relaxing a gamer and putting them to sleep.

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User Comments (35)

daznsaz

#1

daznsaz said:

would it be more exciting if you listen to the dirty dancing sound track whilst playing

RaylaxStaff

#2

Raylax said:

"Let's Compose! A Musical About Kobe Bryant's Lunch"

I'd play it.

JayArr

#3

JayArr said:

Darn, the idea of playing with pot and getting glazed sound relaxing and groovy. :[

grumblegrumble

#4

grumblegrumble said:

"Let's Review! A really bad game!" lol... Wow. This is one of the harshest reviews I have ever read, yet you still give it a 4. Why not a lower score? Glad I didn't get it if its, in fact, not very fun or relaxing. sigh

Supremeist

#5

Supremeist said:

I could tell this wasn't gonna be good by the sound of it. Cool idea, though.. Disappointing at most.

TeeJay

#6

TeeJay said:

I bought it and I'm having a lot of fun with it. All the implied controls and options seemed pretty obvious to me, I didn't feel lost. I guess whether or not it's boring is just a matter of taste.

bboy2970

#7

bboy2970 said:

Wow...very harsh review. I enjoy this game very much! I don't agree with the fact that controls are bad. They work just fine. I guess this one is just a matter of taste. I enjoy very relaxing things as well as things that lets one get creative so naturally, I enjoy this. I give it an 8.

slidecage

#8

slidecage said:

or by creating whatever garbage you like and selling it at an auction

i once went to an auction and someone did yell that.... SOMEONE BUY MY GARBAGE :) everyone broke out laughing ... remember just cause someone hated it you still might like it.. there are games here that scored an 8 or 9 that i can not stand and i would rate them a lot lower.... if i ever find time i might download it..

Taya

#10

Taya said:

I also disagree with this review. I have had no problems with the controls and I never ever felt lost or confused about what I was supposed to do. It's incredibly straightforward. I guess it's just not for everyone.

JeanLuc_Vaycard

#11

JeanLuc_Vaycard said:

Are people really defending a pottery game? Who thinks this stuff up? Who the hell is this going to market to? Oh yes im sure most gamers are sitting there thinking, "You know whats missing in the gaming world? POTTERY!" Whether you disagree with the controls or not the game sounds really empty anyway, so it deserves a huge jump in score?

bboy2970

#12

bboy2970 said:

@Kainard: Yes, I am. I'll defend any game that gets a review I strongly disagree with. It may not be your cup of tea but to me its very enjoyable to boot it up and whip up a nice piece. I also find it addicting and fun to see how much you can bag at auction. For Someone who is creative and artsy such as myself, this is a very enjoyable piece of software. Also, I'm not really sure what this review is talking about as far as being confusing goes. It couldn't be more strait forward to figure out how to jump in and what to do. I stand by my opinion that this is a very solid download.

grumblegrumble

#14

grumblegrumble said:

I think that some of the huge disagreements we are seeing here is the same with any other given title. Different strokes for different folks, as my Grandma used to say ;) Some people loved Aquia, for instance, that Art Style game that got a 10/10 here on NL (or a 9/10) well, I love Art Style games, but I LOATHE Aquia!!!! I know others do, too, so there is a big example of the game not being everyone's thing. The same can be said for this software, especially a creative game like this. For people that 'just don't get it', that's like me and Pokemon - I HATE Pokemon!! But people on here love it. So take the reviews with a grain of salt. Go to YouTube or on google and try to find some videos of actual gameplay of games you are interested in, that's what I do! :)

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#16

Philip_J_Reed said:

Some people loved Aquia, for instance, that Art Style game that got a 10/10 here on NL (or a 9/10) well, I love Art Style games, but I LOATHE Aquia!!!! I know others do, too, so there is a big example of the game not being everyone's thing.

That's a perfect example. :) As always, be sure to check many sources to determine if a game is right for you!

kurtasbestos

#19

kurtasbestos said:

I was secretly hoping this would turn out interesting, but "Let's not" is the perfect way for me to decide if I want to spend money on it or not. Still, I trust the people who seem to genuinely enjoy it.

Also: "Imagine a graphic design program that forced you to log a certain number of hours with only the most basic tools before allowing you to unlock and use anything more interesting". Now that you've suggested it, I'm actually kind of surprised that a certain industry standard graphic design program DOESN'T work that way.

Bankai

#20

Bankai said:

That's a pity. Because the iOS version of the game (the iPad especially) is a whole lot of chilled back fun.

bboy2970

#21

bboy2970 said:

@Waltz: I haven't played the IOS version as I do not own any of those devices but from videos I've watched, the two versions seem identical with the exception of resolution. I have a feeling if Chicken reviewed the IOS game, it would get similarly criticized. I'm pretty sure this is just a game you either "get" or you don't. I agree its very laid back fun. In fact, I just got done making like 4 new pots :D

NintyMan

#22

NintyMan said:

Ow, this review didn't hold anything back, but I do agree that different folks have different strokes! Some people hate Zelda: Ocarina of Time while others love Metroid: Other M.

Kagamine

#23

Kagamine said:

@nintyfan Hey, Im one of those poeple! YES! thinking about downloading this after reading the comments, but i dont want to spend to mush in the eshop this year since im getting some ambassador games soon.

Supremeist

#24

Supremeist said:

This does look like a pretty laid back and enjoyable game, no matter what some person at NL rated it. But I'm not sure about picking it up.. Might wait later possibly for a Let's Create! Pottery 3D? Hmm?

I just picked it up and played for about half an hour and it is pretty decent. I have no problems with the controls. I guess that's just something for the reviewer to complain about since he doesn't enjoy the game. This is a harsh review.. I would give it 6.5/10 - Could be better, but It's extremely relaxing and brings out your creativity. Don't pass this if you are interested.

Although I do believe it should be $1.99

Teh-Ray

#25

Teh-Ray said:

Was it really any surprise?

If anything, I'm more surprised to see people actually enjoyed it. Oh well, I guess it really is "different strokes for different folks", which I will gladly respect.

I assume it got a 4/10 because it at least did something that it promised: Making pottery.

StarDust4Ever

#28

StarDust4Ever said:

I have taken ceramics classes in the past and there is nothing like the feeling of my hands molding something beautiful out of a lump of clay, whether wheel throwing or hand-building. I may still give this one a try yet, but I get the impression that the tactile feel of touch stylus and buttons could never truly match the gritty feeling of raw wet clay deforming at the mercy of my hands.

P.S. Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before playing any games, and don't get clay on your DS system!

Supremeist

#29

Supremeist said:

@StarDust This game is definitely worth a spin. I honestly have no idea why the review is so low.. It's extremely satisfying to create a unique masterpiece in the palm of your hands and then see what you can sell it for at auction. It's really cool, and great to take on car rides and such. Really relaxing and is really worth $5.

DemonnPrincess

#32

DemonnPrincess said:

I think this would be fun. :3 When I get some more points I'm gonna buy it. ^^ Actually, I'm a rainbow lover so I have yet to download a "bad" game so far. :3

DemonnPrincess

#35

DemonnPrincess said:

Okay so I bought this last night, and my aunt and I LOVE it! She's made like 12 vases already and counting! And now we're gonna go make pottery clay and make real vases. HOLLA!

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